CADIZ - A ticking clock on top of the Harrison County Courthouse is one obvious sign that the county commissioners are taking steps to restore the historical structure, and additional courthouse restoration was discussed at the commissioners meeting Wednesday.
Chairman Don Bethel had stated previously that the board had met with representatives from a company they are considering to hire for restoration of the statue of John A. Bingham, the prosecutor of Lincoln's assassins, on the North Lawn and cannons outside of the courthouse.
"What I would like to see is to bring these historical items back to their original condition," Bethel said. I am 51, and for as long as I can remember that statue has been green. Our feelings are that every county resident deserves to see the statue in its original condition at least once in their lifetime."
"It seems to me as a pretty good cost benefit because it really comes down to our identity and history," said Bethel. "I think it's important because, like the clock, it's a focal point of the historical square."
"The statue would need to be removed temporarily and taken away for cleaning," Bethel added. "The cannons would also be removed from their carriages."
Assistant Prosecutor Michael Washington spoke to the board regarding the carriages, stating that they were in a state of deterioration and recommended a woodworker in Holmes County who had worked on restorations of other cannons.
The board is also working to repair damage to the stairs and porches and hopes to remove the white chain and reopen the front entrance to the facility when work is completed.
Doug Crabtree brought three road use and maintenance agreements to the board for approval. A special request from Cardinal Gas Services was made to modify the previous agreement for county Road 45. The company stated concerns about the proximity of houses to the road and children at play near the haul route, in requesting rerouting access from the opposite direction.
The new route will use county Road 49 (Barger Road), county Road 22 (Gilmore Road) and then back onto the other end of Merryman. Commissioner Dale Norris asked about the dust control issue and, after assurances from Crabtree that the company was working on the issue, the agreement was passed.
In other business, commissioners approved a resolution granting the Board of Developmental Disabilities request for a levy, and an agreement between the sheriff's department and Securus to upgrade the inmate call management system.